Ugadi Festival is the “Telugu New Year” festival for the people of Deccan region of India. It falls on the Thidi, Chaitra Suddha Padyami. According to the Hindu Calendar Chaitra is the first month of the new year and Suddha Padyami is the first day of new year.
Ugadi Festival and Origin of Ugadi word:
The term Ugadi came from the Sanskrit word Yugadi, Yuga means to age and Adi are beginning. So Yugadi means the beginning of a new year. There are some other stories about the origion of Ugadi when Lord Krishna left the world. Maharshi Vedavyasa told to his disciples the Kaliyuga started. Kaliyuga started date is also called Yugadi.
In another story, Lord Brahma started the creation of Universe on the auspicious day of Ugadi or Chaitra suddha Padyami. So this day Ugadi indicates, it is the first day of Yuga. Lunar calendar has a 60 years cycle and starts the New Year on Ugadi. Ugadi marks a change in the Lunar Orbit as well as the beginning of the new Hindu Lunar Calendar. The festival celebrated everywhere in India with different names.
Ugadi Festival Celebrations:
On the day of Ugadi people wake up early in the morning do the head baths and wear the new dresses. After they decorate the Temples with different fresh flowers and Mango leaves. The people also decorate their houses and Pooja Mandhirs with flowers, especially Jasmin flowers, and fresh Mango leaves.
There is an interesting story behind decorating the Pooja Rooms with Mango leaves. Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya sons of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi loved eating mangoes. Karthikeya urged the people if they hang the fresh leaves of Mango trees at the doorways, their Mango trees gives a good yield. So that the people believe it and followed.
Ugadi Festival Special Panchanga Sravanam :
Panchanga Sravanam is an important activity on the day of Ugadi. The Priests chants the mantras and worship the God with the devotees. After worshiping Gods in the temple, the devotees gathered before Idols of God and sit silently. The Priests sit beside the Idols and starts reading the Panchangam for the New Year. Here Panchanga Sravanam means predicting about the wealth and prosperity of the society. And also predict how the Crops were grown, the weather conditions and also explain the devotee’s prosperity in the New Year. According to their names. Panchanga Sravanam is a precious valued task. The Hindu Scriptures state that the benefits reaped by listeners as well as the reader. After the Panchanga Sravanam, the listeners respectfully thank the reader and offer him with New clothes and seek their blessings.
Ugadi Festival Pickle :
On the day of Ugadi, every house hold prepares the Ugadi pickle, as the symbolic eating of a dish with six tastes. This pickle made with the mixture of Neem Flowers, Jaggery Green Chilli, Salt, Tamarind Juice and Unripened Mango. These six tastes indicated the various levels in our life journey.
- Neem Flowers – is bitterness – signifying Sadness.
- Jaggery – is sweetness – signifying Sweetness.
- Salt – is saltiness – signifying fear.
- Green Chilli – is hot taste – signifying anger.
- Tamarind Juice – is sourness – disgust.
- Unripened Mango – is tang – surprise.
The Pickle tastes the bitter, sweet and sour tastes, each reminds us life is a combination of happiness and sad events and we remain ready to accept everything in life. All the family members taste this Ugadi Pickle and conscious of the fact in life is everything temporary.
Such way Indians celebrate Ugadi festival in great joy.